Former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says that the national anthem, is indistinguishable from a “slave song.”
In an August 14 editorial for The Hollywood Reporter, the Laker legend said that NFL players are required to stand for the anthem just like pre-Civil War slaves were expected to sing during their work, Fox News reported.
“Currently, the song being demanded is the national anthem during football games. But during a warm-up game on Aug. 10, despite President Trump’s previous condemnation, several Eagles players kneeled during the anthem or raised their fists — their way of singing their own song,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote.
“For them, lyrics like ‘land of the free’ don’t accurately represent the daily reality for people of color,” the Hall of Famer accused. “They love their country but want that country to recognize the suffering that occurs when it isn’t living up to its constitutional promises.”
Abdul-Jabbar also attacked President Donald Trump’s claim that many players don’t understand what the protests are really about.
“Who would know better how to define their outrage:,” Abdul-Jabbar asked, “the privileged darling of white supremacists, the 94 percent-white team owners, the 75 percent-white head coaches or the 70 percent-black players who actually take the field each week?”
With the 2018 preseason well underway, many NFL players are once again using the national anthem as a platform to protest against the country, with many echoing both Abdul-Jabbar and anthem protest inventor Colin Kaepernick that that the U.S. A., has never been great.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.